Zach is 10 and lives with autism. There was a time, not too long ago when if you asked him to tell you about himself it was difficult, because at that time he had a hard time even forming a complete sentence. Then his family found Easter Seals autism therapy services and as you will read below, Zach has come a long way. He has gone from a special ed class to a mainstream setting with less need for special education services. He was recently asked to talk about what it's like to have autism and some things people can be aware of to help other kids feel welcome. The boy who once struggled to complete a sentence gave this speech to his entire school...
"In this document, we will study about children with a thing called autism.
Autism is when a child's brain works differently than others. They sometimes are extremely intelligent and they get accepted into charter schools! They might get very picky about their food a lot, so they might only eat pancakes for breakfast, grilled cheese for lunch, and pizza for dinner, or something like that. They can struggle very horribly when they're alone. They can sometimes not struggle. There are people called “therapists” that help autistic children at home, school and even at the park!
Therapists are people that teach the child what they need to know in life. When they get older, kids are normally (well sometimes) bullied A LOT because they have autism.
If they tell others they have autism, it helps the other child will understand a lot. Autism is always not bad or good all the time.
They have meltdowns sometimes when things get bad, confusing or mean. Here are some things to help the child: never be rude to him/her. Help them when needed. And last but not least, always be his/her helper through changes in life and cheer him/her up when sad. "
Zach had some great advice for all of us.
Did You Know?
Easter Seals autism and early intervention therapies increase school readiness, decreasing the need for special education services by 50%. This results in a cost savings of more than 1 million dollars in education and adult living costs.
Want to learn more about our autism services, Click here.